ECOWAS: Court President decries non enforcement of judgments

Adoba Echono, Banjul, Gambia

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The President of ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, Justice Edward Amoako Asante has decried the non-enforcement of the court’s judgments by member states.

Justice Asante who stated this in Banjul, the Gambia, in his closing remarks at the end of its 2023 International Conference with the theme ECOWAS Zero Tolerance for Unconstitutional Change of Government, disclosed that the compliance rate of the court’s judgment is less than thirty percent.

He disclosed that six member states are yet to appoint their competent National Authority on the enforcement of the judgments of the court.

“It is however of great concern to us that six of our member states, namely Benin Republic, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Niger and Sierra Leone are yet to appoint their Competent National Authorities for the enforcement of the judgments of the court, while the other nine members have appointed.”

“We will therefore continue to appeal to the governments of these six member countries to do that for us.”

Justice Asante also urged all member states to domesticate the ECOWAS Revised Treaty and Protocol on the Court in order to create the enabling legal environment for the enforcement of the judgments of the Community by the national court of member states.

“The current compliance rate, which is less than thirty percent, of the judgments of the court is not encouraging and is capable of eroding public confidence in the court.”

“Although there is an urgent need to review and strengthen the judgment enforcement mechanism of the court, we recognise that the most impotent element is the political will and good faith of member states to comply with judgment of the court.

Justice Asante in an interview with Voice of Nigeria at the end of the conference disclosed that a report on the decisions reached will made available to member states”.

According to him, “the decisions mainly are to the effect that we are going to make a report to the member states who particularly are not enforcing the court’s judgments and those who are changing the constitutions to go for third and fourth terms that create trouble and acrimony in their country leading to coup d’état, because the zero tolerance for unconstitutional change of government requires that everybody serve the term in the constitution.”

Hauwa M.

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